Amy's Blog: The power of networks

Amy LiouAs hinted, I have been asked before how I, as a student, can have so much energy to work on multiple tasks without burning out. Truth is, I do burn out. A lot. And I have experienced more stress than I should have in the past few months.

"I’ve learned, however, the importance of teamwork, and having a team working with and supporting me to achieve goals."

Group work goes a long way. As an introvert, I value independent time to develop good ideas, but working in a group has time after time proven to produce high-quality work.

At our latest weekly GreenHouse workshop, we started off our evening with some problem-solving exercises for a fellow GreenHouse student who is trying to find a solution to the sand problem that exists in Senegal every day. Individually, we had good ideas. Yet together, we were able to come up with detailed solutions to a large-scale issue. Group work shone through.

Network of peopleI have also learned the value of tapping into my network for promising results. With the food research I need for my project, it is difficult for me to submit ethics forms and go through many procedures just to get sufficient information.

But it occurred to me that I didn’t have to do the research myself. My network has been expanding with valuable new connections ever since I got involved with groups like Meal Exchange and GreenHouse.

Through Meal Exchange, I met Merryn, a Masters student who is doing research on food and knows more connections that are doing similar research. Through GreenHouse, I learned more about the current operations of Food Services and food programs in the Region. Already I can see a support network forming around my project.

"At the end of the day, sharing your ideas is critical. The more I talk about my food project with those around, the more valuable projections I can make into my community to produce the best results. This is the power of networks, and ultimately the power of human connection."

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